A real-time bird sound recognition system using a low-cost microcontroller

Okan Küc̣üktopcu, Engin Masazade, Cem Ünsalan, Pramod K. Varshney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Monitoring the environment using stand-alone sensor nodes provides valuable information to researchers, practitioners and policy makers. One such problem in this area is bird activity monitoring using its sound patterns. There are several existing devices that can record bird sounds in a region. Then, the stored data is processed off-line. However, the time between the acquisition and processing stages while using such devices is generally of the order of weeks. This approach is not amenable to real-time monitoring. Therefore, there is a need for a system which is able to both monitor the environment and process data on the system itself. The most important attribute of such a system is its power consumption since it operates in the environment only by its battery. In this study, we propose such a stand-alone, energy efficient, low-level, custom-made, real-time bird call processing system concentrated on single-labeled bird calls. The system is composed of a microphone, Texas Instruments Tiva C microcontroller, and a storage unit. The proposed system enables data recording, preliminary on-board signal processing, feature extraction, classification, and data storage. In the proposed system, we simultaneously record and process data. Hence, the system not only stores the environmental sounds, it also classifies the detected birds on-site. The proposed system offers flexibility (both in hardware and software) for expansion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-201
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Acoustics
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Bird call processing
  • Feature extraction
  • Mel frequency cepstrum coefficients
  • Real-time processing
  • Spectral noise gating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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